Pavement Got You Cracking Up?

Common Asphalt Issues and How to Identify Them

As pavements age, common asphalt problems, like cracks and depressions, tend to rear their ugly heads. With any kind of asphalt damage, it’s important to understand the underlying issues, so you can better understand how to fix, and ultimately avoid them. Do you know what to look out for? Below are some of the issues we see most often:

 

Alligator Cracking

Alligator Paving TermAs the name suggests, these cracks tend to look like the rough, patchy skin of an alligator. They typically occur when the pavement structure is poor—a weakened base or surface is often the culprit. It’s best to deal with this issue as soon as you notice it; parking lots with minor alligator cracking can be overlaid with a new layer of asphalt, but if left too long, water penetration can lead to more widespread cracking, potholes, and eventually general pavement failure. Once it gets to this stage, more cost-effective maintenance procedures, like crack sealing and overlays, will NOT be an option. A full removal and replacement will be in order…ouch!

 

Potholes

We’ve all experienced those pesky potholes, whether on the road or in our own driveway. This problem can be caused by poor drainage and heavy freeze-thaw cycles. Luckily, we don’t get too much of that in California, but that doesn’t mean potholes don’t pop up from time to time. It’s important to repair these guys as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage…to your pavement and to your tenants’ wheels!

 

Block Cracking

These cracks often look like large, rough, interconnected rectangles (or blocks) and are typically caused when poorly mixed asphalt is laid in an area that experiences frequent temperature changes. Asphalt will shrink and expand when exposed to the elements, but if the pavement can’t keep up…you get cracks.

 

 

Depressions

Water Raveling ErosionThese are low, localized areas on the surface of the asphalt, and are typically formed by sub-bases that become uneven over time. These areas end up holding water, which can cause even more issues, like potholes and pavement failure.

 

 

Many of these problems are part of the normal lifecycle of your pavement, but with repairs and preventive maintenance, your asphalt can last for many years without having to undergo major repairs. If you are noticing any of these problems on your asphalt surface, give us a call! We can help assess the damage and come up with a solution that fits your needs.